Two jailed for 'terrifying' armed robbery of Knottingley pensioner as they make off with victim's car - Leeds Crown Court

Two men have been jailed after an elderly lady was subjected to a terrifying ordeal when they broke into her home and stole her car.

By Alex Grant
Friday, 10th June 2022, 7:20 pm
Updated Friday, 10th June 2022, 7:23 pm

Richard Hunter-Smith and Lee Andrew Morton smashed their way into the woman’s house in Knottingley in the early hours of September 1 last year.

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Hunter-Smith, brandishing a knife, threatened to cut the lady if she did not meet his demands for cash and her car.

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Richard Hunter-Smith and Lee Andrew Morton smashed their way into the woman’s house. Picture: WYP.

The pair then fled the scene in the victim’s car which was later found crashed on the driveway of a nearby property.

Hunter-Smith, aged 26, of Sycamore Avenue, Knottingley was jailed for 21 years at Leeds Crown Court today (10 June) after being found guilty of aggravated burglary and theft of a motor vehicle at an earlier trial. He received an 11-year sentence for those offences.

He also received a further 10-year sentence for grievous bodily harm with intent following a separate incident which happened at a take-away food shop on High Street, Knottingley on September 21 last year.

On that occasion Hunter-Smith was part of an attack in which the male victim’s thumb was cut off with bolt cutters and he was slashed with a machete.

Jailing him, Hunter-Smith was told he would have to serve at least 14 years in prison before he would be eligible for release.

Morton, aged 41, of no fixed address, was jailed for four years and nine months for the burglary and theft of a motor vehicle.

Speaking about the burglary after the sentencing, Detective Constable Rebecca Greenwood of West Yorkshire Police’s Wakefield Adult Safeguarding team, said:

“What these individuals did to a vulnerable victim that morning was truly dreadful.”

“A crime like this would undoubtedly have an enormous impact upon anyone, but to subject a 75-year-old female who lives alone to this in her own home, depriving her of her car, her lifeline and her independence is just incomprehensible.

“I am pleased that these sentences reflect the severity of the crimes and hope that knowing these perpetrators will spend a significant time behind bars will bring some piece of mind to the victim.”